Membership
Get unlimited digital access. Try it today for only $0.99.
Topics

Personal Data Collection

Trash, personal history, old lovers: Why our past follows us everywhere

Trash, personal history, old lovers: Why our past follows us everywhere

It started with garbage. When I was a kid and didn't want something anymore, I just threw it away. Pfft. Gone. Then came the environmental movement, and we all learned that garbage doesn't disappear. It gets moved around and buried or burnt, but even then the smoke goes into the air and the ashes go into landfills. It never really goes away.

Then it was official records. When I was in school, we had something called our “permanent yellow sheets.” If you talked back to your homeroom teacher or pushed a boy on the playground, it went on your permanent yellow sheets and it would follow you forever. Or so they said. But in those days, records were actual pieces of paper in a...

Loading
59°